Here is another wonderful recipe from Yupa Holzner, whose Thai cooking class my father took back in the 90s in the Long Beach area. According to an LA Times article from 1989, this seems to be one of Yupa’s “cross-cultural ideas.” My sister recently brought this recipe back to life for my Tita Arlene’s (tita means aunt in Tagalog) 50th birthday. My father made this only once shortly after Yupa’s cooking class. When I realized that I wouldn’t be able to go back to California for Thanksgiving, I asked my very good friend, Mark, if I could prepare this at his home in Washington, DC for the holiday. More proof that this recipe was a Yupa creation rather than traditional Thai cuisine: Mark is Thai and had never heard of it.
Last year, Mark and his friends made a 20-pound-plus turkey for only six guests. This time around, he was determined to avoid having too many turkey leftovers even though his guest list had doubled. To make matters worse, he had had two turkey dinners the week leading up to Thanksgiving day. We ended up getting an 11-pound turkey. However, once he bit into the juicy pieces of “Yupa” and dipped her in the spicy sauce, Mark said, “If I had known it was going to be this good, I would have gotten the 20 pounder.”